In the classical curriculum model, one of the inherent pieces is constantly bringing our scholars back to the Truth. As followers of Christ, we know that the Truth can only be found in God and God's Word. Obviously, this means that the Bible needs to be a frequent (if not constant) component of the classroom. Working in Catholic school enables us to do more than just pray or talk about God in the classroom, it also means we can teach about God regardless of our content area.
Our guiding light at St. Regis Academy is to cultivate our scholars natural desire for Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. We can only do that by offering them God's Truth found in the Scripture. In my classroom, I try to offer exposure to God's Word as frequently as possible. Our cursive workbooks are brilliant for this; they use different verses to reinforce the letters being taught! As students practice a particular set of letters, they are reinforced through the copying of verses that use that particular letter often. Scholars don't have to memorize or talk about the Bible to feel the positive impact of it Similar to how we believe that Beauty in our churches help us connect to God's wonder and love, the simple act of copying down God's Word can help scholars be more inundated in God's Truth. We need to be mindful of what we consume of adults, intentionally choosing positive things to read, watch, and listen to. Similarly, when we are mindful of what expose are students to as educators, it becomes easier to share the Truth with our scholars, even with something as simple practice cursive using Scripture.
Classical curriculum relies on primary texts; reading real books, not just excerpts or pieces. So far, 8th grade has read two and is almost done with their third. We are currently reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. As we read about the budding relationships, I frequently return our conversations to St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians. Although often misinterpreted, St. Paul's description of a Christian marriage is an excellent north star for young Christians who are starting discern their vocation. St. Paul instructs his readers that wives should be obedient to their husbands and that husbands should love their wives "as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her". My scholars are slowly able to apply the concept of the verses to their characters, considering which relationships are selfless and giving, willing to serve and trust the other with total abandon.
Other opportunities to incorporate Scripture arrive often. Answering questions about a particular verse makes for good morning work or a Talk About It Tuesday. Philippians 4:8 (my all time favorite verse) makes for a good guiding light when we need a reminder for behavioral expectations. I try to model text-to-text connections by comparing Sundiata to Solomon or Mercy to Ruth. I'm looking forward to using it more this coming month as we explore God's great promise of Christ through the Jesse Tree tradition. Classical curriculum provides space for us to go off in many different directions, pulling whatever we've learned back to our faith. God is the divine inspiration for everything; there's no reason why we can't return everything we learn back to God and God's Truth.
Pray for me as we enter the last few weeks of the semester, I want to do my best to prepare my scholars for Jesus' birthday (even if they don't learn much about grammar this month). After all, at the end of the day, our ultimate goal is to get them to Heaven and how can they do that without the Truth?
First year Catholic educator in the Classical curriculum style. I teach middle school English-Language Arts.